The Culture Forum
Jul 24, 2019, 8:30 PM
Town Stages,
221 West Broadway Ground Floor, New York, NY 10013, USA


What We Hope For

The Culture Forum's event will be Wednesday, July 24, 2019, at 8:30 PM!

To benefit Annunciation House, The Culture Forum presents artists from different cultural backgrounds coming together to talk about barriers, breakthroughs, and perseverance in the American entertainment industry. The Culture Forum's purpose is to incentivize and foster artistic immigrant youth and create a community of support between artists that share similar beginnings.

Come Before to check out Girl Be heard Open Mic Night! 

EVENT IS FREE - a suggested donation of $10.00+ to Annunciation House.

Please RSVP at 

Names will be checked at door. 



221 West Broadway New York, NY 10013

Space sponsored by Sokoloff Arts

If you have any questions email us at

This talk will benefit Annunciation House one of the leading NGO's in the country providing shelter to immigrants and asylum seekers and reuniting families along the border.

Bar opens at 5pm!






Karina Ortiz is an award nominated Dominican American actress born in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic. She was the middle child and only girl among her two brothers. Due to her younger brother being diagnosed with cerebral palsy as a baby, her family moved to New York City when she was 5 years old in order to provide him with better care and opportunities. From a young age, Karina was always emotionally drawn to both music and acting, resulting in her wanting to connect with the world by performing. Unfortunately, due to financial hardships her parents were not able to afford the training she needed. It was not until college where she was finally able to fully pursue acting and in 2009 she graduated with a BA in Theatre from The City College of New York. Upon graduating she performed on Off-Broadway stages in NY and around the country as the leading role, Angelita in "Platanos and Collard Greens."

Soon after, she booked her first co-star role playing Mercedes, the sister of Dr. Ruben Marcado (Played by Lin-Manuel Miranda) in NBC's "Do No Harm." She went on to book roles in "Blue Bloods", "Royal Pains," "Turn: Washington's Spies" and more. She is known for her recurring role as Margarita on "Orange Is The New Black" and her supporting role as Lupita Garza in Nat Geo's "The Long Road Home" garnered her a 2018 Imagen Awards nomination.





E.J. Bonilla is an actor of Puerto Rican descent and director, whose credits include FourThe Long Road Home, Guiding Light, Bull, Insecure and many others.

Bonilla received an Imagen Award for his performance as "Dexter," a former high school basketball player whose best days are behind him, in Joshua Sanchez's directorial debut, Four. And an Imagen Award for his brilliant performance as Lt. Shane Aguero in The Long Road Home.




Actor/Director/Writer Lifetime Member of The Actors Studio

Bobby Daniel Rodriguez is a NYC based actor. A lifetime member of The Actors Studio, he made his feature debut as Father Arguedas in Paul Weitz & Anthony Weintraub's adaptation of Ann Patchett's Best selling novel Bel Canto. Mr. Rodriguez most recently played Detective Humberto Arroyo in Ava DuVernay's When They See Us on Netflix and Lt. Juan Lopez in the CBS series Seal Team. He is an ensemble member of the Barefoot Theater Company, The Actors Theater Company of NYC, the 2014 Labyrinth Theater Intensive and an MFA graduate of The Actors Studio Drama School.


Victor_Almanzar.65 (1).jpg



Victor Almanzar appeared as Oswaldo in the Pulitzer prize
winning production of Between Riverside and Crazy in The
Atlantic Theater, Second Stage Theater (NYC) and The
Steppenwolf Theatre (CHICAGO). TV and film credits
include, a lead role in the feature film 11:55, a recurring role
in the TV series Power, and a recurring role in the TV series
Empire. Before turning his attention to acting, Victor was in
the United States Marine Corp, where he served in Kosovo
and Iraq.  He was nominated for The Lucille Lortel Award for
his role in Between Riverside and Crazy and for an Irne
award for his role in Man in the Ring. Victor is a proud
lifetime member of the Actors Studio. Actor Victor Almanzar
is also an mc who will be launching his music career as
CAZIKE with the official release of his single “Twist on your
hips” on August 2 nd in his home borough of Queens, NY.





Marina Montesanti is a New York based Theatre Director recipient of the 2019 TOWN stages fellowship and the 2019-2020 SDCF Observership program. She develops new works that unfold stories of multicultural identities that are in relationship to the United States. Montesanti has been involved with theatre in Johannesburg, São Paulo, Buenos Aires and New York City. New York City selected directing credits: El Corrido de la Pola (The Flea Theatre); A Theft (Manhattan Theatre Club Studios); Fifteen Years of Love (Theater for a New City); Iʼm Just Loving it (Guild Theater); Check (Naked Angels/New Works Festival); The Ghosts in my Mirror Angels /New Works Festival); Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are Dead (The New School for Drama); Glass Stained Angels (Glass Box Theatre); Double Take (M.R.T) Dance Lessons (Glass Box Theatre); Dreamless (Hunter College). Assistant and Associate Director Credits include: The New York Premiere of Letters to Sala (The Barrow Group); Letters to Sala Concert Version (The Museum of Jewish Heritage); La Paloma Prisoner (HI - ARTS); Monstrosity (The New School for Drama); True Hazards of Childhood (Phantom Theatre). Montesanti was part of the production management teams of: La Negra (HI-ARTS); Old Hats (Signature Theatre); Angel Reapers (Signature Theatre); Daphneʼs Dive (Signature Theatre); Signature Plays (Signature Theatre); Happy Hour (Monica Bill Barnes and Co. at Gibney Dance) and The Only Jealousy of Emer (Apt.929). Education: BFA in Dramatic Arts from The New School for Drama, and additional workshops with the Theatre Versus Oppression Company, SITI company, BAM and Harvard University (history and literature). From 2012-2014 Montesanti was a Theatre of the Oppressed teaching artist for Afrika Tikkun (Diepsloot, South Africa).




Christina is a New York City based actress her recent credits include: short films Fall in Line and Sheet Faced, indie film River and currently in production television project Paradise Island. After completing her undergraduate degree, at The University of Texas at Austin, Christina worked in regional theatre productions in her hometown of El Paso, TX. She earned her MFA at the Actors Studio Drama School in 2017. She has appeared in various commercials and is currently cast in a Staged Reading of Stoneheart (Cruzando Fronteras Play Festival) at The Two River Theatre in Red Bank, NJ.  She acknowledges that her El Paso upbringing was a blessing. As an artist her mission is to represent women and Latinas beyond stereotypes, create space to tell stories that shift the current paradigm, and shed light on important social justice issues.




221 West Broadway Ground Floor, New York, NY 10013, USA

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